Letters From Canadian WW1 Soldiers in 1914

Do you want to discover what Canadian soldiers in 1914 were writing in their letters home? Are you interested in learning about the atmosphere and feelings conveyed in the letters from Canadian WW1 soldiers in 1914? Read our guide for more facts and

In 1914 World War One was just beginning and many people felt that the war would end quickly despite the great threat that was posed. The letters from Canadian soldiers who fought in World War 1 that were written in 1914 illustrate optimism and a carefree attitude that is lost as the war progressed. World War One is today known as one of the most bloody periods in human history; however, these early letters capture how unsuspecting many Canadian soldiers were in the early days of war.


The letter of Canadian soldier James Well Ross that was written in late September of 1914 home to his family, illustrates that in these early days most soldiers were interested with the preparations for war. Ross at the time had not yet set sail for Europe or the actual battlefield; instead, he was situated in a camp at Jacques Cartier Valley that is just north of Quebec City. At the camp, Ross writes that he and his fellow soldiers are preparing for war, although he also remarks that his days had begun to seem routine. The letter home in this early part of war lacks the fear and concern that later letters contain as at this time the preparations were described as a spectacle.


James Well Ross’ path and attitude towards the war is continued in his later letter in October of 1914. Ross’ letter home remains casual in nature although progress is reported as he and his fellow soldiers have moved into a bigger camp to continue to prepare. Ross’ outlook on war still seems detached as his biggest concern in the letter home appears to be the chaos that is in camp and the constant rain that he has experienced. The letter home again demonstrates the detachment as the issues that have been experienced in camp such as problems with the gun equipment are worthy of a mention home, however, it does not remain a large concern.


Another perspective is offered from James Lloyd Evans’ letter that was written in late November of 1914. Evans’ writes home to his wife about his situation as he prepares for war, as like Ross, Evans’ remained stationed in Canada in Winnipeg. The letter from Evans is personal in nature and is highly optimistic. The letter home focuses on the happiness that Evans enjoys from his wife’s letters as well as his optimism about arranging a return home for Christmas. Evans’ preparation for war is mentioned as he remarks that he has been busy giving talks and lectures about preparation; however, once again World War One is not the focus of the letter. The attitude of preparation at the time still appeared to be relaxed as he also discusses having time to enjoy himself by seeing picture shows and concerts.


James Lloyd Evans’ journey is further documented in his letter of late December which closes out the year of 1914. The letter of this Canadian soldier remains upbeat and positive in nature as he continues his previous discussions of Christmas and the holidays. The writing of this and many other letters from 1914 appear to be hopeful and based on personal concerns rather than the contents of future letters which  were focused on the fears and concerns of war.


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